Stereotypes can quickly become a hindrance to your work. Not only are they a distraction, but they can also make your workplace an uncomfortable place to be. If you continue working within the limitations of these stereotypes, it is possible that your skills and expertise will be undermined by others.

Handling Stereotypes at Work

In everything you do, make sure you work with excellence. Strive to complete your work at such a quality that others cannot find something to criticise. Do this with consistency and keep a positive attitude, and you will begin to rise above the stereotypes. An excellent team member will always stand out, regardless of their gender or race, and their contribution to the company’s success will tear down the wall of discrimination.

Try to steer clear of fitting into stereotypes that are present in your workplace. For instance, if others in your workplace say that women are not hard workers, then strive to always do your best work and finish all tasks on time.

Make sure you dress presentably each day to give others no reason to discriminate against you. Looking the part is important, and it is easy to find professional attire you feel comfortable wearing. Be clean and neat, and let the way you dress help you build confidence.

Speaking up and showing your knowledge is another way to break down stereotypes. If you are an expert in your area, and you are accompanying another team member to an event or meeting, you need to display your knowledge. If they’re directing all their questions to your colleague, you can use this to your advantage by respectfully building up your colleague’s responses.

Regularly learn and challenge yourself; read a lot and frequently, and expand your worldview. This can help you develop knowledge that you’ll be able to apply to your profession.

On the whole

Stereotypes can very well affect your motivation levels, workplace environment, business relationships and work performance. The best thing to do is to look for ways to constantly stand out, ranging from demonstrating your knowledge, to modifying the way you dress, to always doing excellent quality work.